Adding -s

We add -s to words for two reasons:

  1. to make plural nouns (boy > boys)
  2. to form the 3rd person singular of the present simple tense (I work > you work > he works)

Spelling Rule
Just add -s to the end of the word, for example:

  • dog > dogs
  • play > plays
  • demand > demands


If the word ends in:

do this:

and add:

For example:




church > churches
mass > masses
brush > brushes
fax > faxes
box > boxes
chintz > chintzes


remove the -f or -fe


wife > wives
calf > calves

beliefs, chiefs, dwarfs, griefs, gulfs, proofs, roofs

consonant + -y

remove the -y


spy > spies
baby > babies

Note: words that end in -o normally just add s, except:
buffalo > buffaloes
cargo > cargoes (or cargos)
domino > dominoes
echo > echoes
go > goes
grotto > grottoes
halo > haloes
hero > heroes
mango > mangoes
mosquito > mosquitoes
motto > mottoes (or mottos)
potato > potatoes
tomato > tomatoes
tornado > tornadoes
torpedo > torpedoes
veto > vetoes
volcano > volcanoes



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